This is officially Sweden’s best city for students

Which of Sweden's cities is the best for students? Perhaps it's Lund with its cobbled streets, or Uppsala with its strong culture of student associations? What about Gothenburg, with its array of pubs, or Stockholm and all the attractions the capital offers?

This is officially Sweden's best city for students
The "Goddess of Mercy" statue in the centre of Sweden's Student City of the Year 2017/18. Photo: Librarianishish/Flickr Creative Commons

The answer is none of the above. The Swedish National Union of Students (SFS) has just awarded the prize of Student City of the Year 2017/18 to… Gävle, in the lower reaches of Norrland.

Best known internationally for its giant straw Christmas goat (and the unfortunate tradition of it regularly being burned to the ground), it turns out Sweden's 13th most populated city has more to offer than just arsonists and grass animals. For starters, it prioritizes its student population, according to the SFS.

“Gävle makes clear that they prioritize students and that they intend to do that. This brings hope and trust to the students of Gävle, for their situation in the present and in the future,” SFA chair Caroline Sundberg said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Is Gävle Sweden's most random city?

The jury that awards the prize explained it chose Gävle because it is “forward-thinking and pro-active”, adding that they have “come a long way in their work and are aware of and plan to address important areas for development”.

In particular, work to create more student housing and increase the influence of students in the city has been praised.

“We're very pleased with the award and feel honoured! This is proof of the fact that we carry out an amazing job when it comes to student influence and collaboration here in Gävle,” Linda Hernandez, the chair of Gefle Student Union, said.

Last year's winner was Linköping in southern Sweden, while two years ago Uppsala took the crown. Around 17,000 students currently study at the University of Gävle, the city's largest educational institution.

READ ALSO: Five things that make Uppsala a great university city